Posted by: Ingrid Vanderveldt | March 4, 2009

See Behind The Scenes with One of the Wildest Commercial Shoots I have Ever Seen..(for Sony)

Hi all! Thought you would enjoy this one.  Two weeks ago, Neil Matthews (art director) from ad agency Iris, Jeremy Hudson (photographer) and crew flew in from London into Miami to film a new commercial for Sony Ericsson.  Why was this so cool?  Because the idea was crazy, (don’t try this at home kind of thing) and I love behind the scenes stuff for just about anything.  Its fun to see a film/tv/video shoot come together…

Here’s the punchline first…the commercial can be found at:  http://www.sonyericsson.com/ericsstatus/

CHECK IT OUT and then you will see what I am talking about below….

"Eric" getting ready for his jump with Caroline sitting next to him.  He was literally flying blind.  Couldn't see a thing (for reals!!)

"Eric" getting ready for his jump with Caroline sitting next to him. He was literally flying blind. Couldn't see a thing (for reals!!)

Now here’s what made this shoot so unreal…The London team came up with this wild idea (leave it to the Brits right?!!- seriously) to strap a huge egg head onto the body of a pro skydiver, (Randi Melfi), call him “Eric”.  Eric is a man of the world.  He rides bikes, reads, loves music and even skydives.  That said, for those of you who have never skydived, strapping anything extra onto your body other than your equipment can be challenging (aka deadly).

To give you an idea of what I mean, I asked one day if I could velcro my tiny little FlipPhone to my hand and jump.  You know, not in the way, nothing that will keep me from pulling my shoot- just a simple tiny little camera velcroed to my hand.  I wanted to show you all flying from my POV.  The answer was “No” (I could kill myself.)- Really?!!!….okay- so back to “Eric”

Now- take a look at these photos…(speak for themselves)…Randi is “Eric”.  Remember, I couldn’t go out of the plane with a FlipPhone because I could die.  Eric (aka Randi- has over 10,000 jumps- little bit of difference I realize)…HE  jumped out with this thing on his head.  He  not only managed to fly but also managed to keep his head on when the shoot opened…i am STILL amazed.   Furthermore, he was literally flying blind.  The eyes that were made for the head were too high and second, you couldn’t see out of them anyways.  Should he still jump?!..OF COURSE!!!!!  This is Skydive Miami, they are safety, stunt and skydiving experts and they know how to make [almost] ANYTHING possible AND make it look easy (these are all stunt experts from the movie- like Get Smart).

Since Eric was blind, how did he  know to open his shoot?  Fred Whitsitt who runs Skydive Miami was flying right next next to him (but out of camera range) and tapped his body when it was time to open…you know- nothing TOO much…

Meet Caroline Prevost-Reil.  She’s the camera flyer.  She didn’t think a FlipPhone would work- so she took jumping with a camera to a whole new level (can you imagine the muscles on her neck?!- seriously!!!).  Then there is Glenn Hodgson.  He was on board to “keep things safe”.

Caroline with the "little camera"

Caroline with the "little camera"

I know you all know I have been bragging a bit about Skydive Miami (these are the guys who do a lot of the stunts in skydiving movies like Get Smart)- but this time- I got to see the action myself, first hand.  It was crazy….THIS IS HOW THESE MOVIES/ COMMERCIALS are made!  Its wild!…and its no wonder that when people keep telling me that I am learning fast (to skydive)- I am like “how could i not [learn fast and well]?!- look at who my instructors are!!!

In the end- everyone was safe (of course!), clients were happy, and Sony got a GREAT new commercial for another cool product 🙂  I was amazed and hope you enjoy- I certainly did….Happy days!!!…These is what’s possible when creative entrepreneurs like Iris and Skydive Miami come together….

One last thing- so now you see why when I told my brother Dutch I wanted to become a licensed skydiver (he is)- he said, you MUST come to Skydive Miami and jump here with these guys…so come! 🙂  Now i REALLY get it 🙂  Have a great day!

Practicing the Jump from the Ground from left, Glenn Hodgson (safety), Randi Melfi ("Eric"), Caroline Prevost Reil (camera flier), Jeremy HUdson (photographer)

Practicing the Jump from the Ground from left, Glenn Hodgson (safety), Randi Melfi ("Eric"), Caroline Prevost Reil (camera flier), Jeremy HUdson (photographer)

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